Typewise Is Almost the Perfect Smartphone Keyboard

Finally, a phone keyboard worth installing

Key Takeaways

  • Typewise’s unique hexagonal layout makes typing easier and faster, though it can take a little bit to get used to.
  • The latest version adds better auto-correction, automatic language detection, and other features.
  • Typewise never collects your data, which means you don’t have to worry about passwords or other important info being exposed.
A closeup of a smartphone running the Typewise keyboard.

Typewise

Typewise’s update to version 3.0 makes it one of the most appealing third-party keyboards available on iOS and Android.

Third-party keyboards for smartphones are a dime a dozen. Despite offering new themes and customization options, many just aren’t worth the time it takes to install them and set them up. On top of that, many keyboards require access to things on your phone that they just don’t need—like your files, location information, and tons of other private data. Typewise doesn’t ask for any of that.

Instead, Typewise offers a complete on-device experience, including auto-correction that it says rivals Google’s GBoard and Swiftkey, two of the most significant smartphone keyboard replacements out there. You won’t have to worry about your data being transmitted when you type it, and you don’t have to wait on the AI to receive commands from an ominous cloud-based system somewhere.

"The main challenge with the keyboard in the first place is that the keys are small on a smartphone,"

Put a Hex on Me

While there are many differences between Typewise and other smartphone keyboards, the most significant one is the hexagonal layout that the keyboard uses. 

There are remnants of QWERTY in the hexagonal keyboard, and it can take a bit to get used to. But the gesture functions that are included in the app take away the need to hit extra buttons for capital letters, and even places several functional keys for punctuation right at the tip of your thumbs.

It’s a weird design at first, but David Eberle, the CEO of Typewise, says it’s all about making typing faster and smoother on smartphones.

"The main challenge with the keyboard in the first place is that the keys are small on a smartphone," he told us on a call.

A closeup of Typwise in the dark theme shown on a smartphone.

Typewise

"And that's why a lot of stuff happens when you’re typing. You're slow because you have to concentrate, and you're inaccurate because the keys are small. Then you have to correct your typos, which slows you down further. It's just a whole chain."

Even during the adjustment phase—which I’d say was probably three to four hours of fairly constant typing on the phone—the benefits of using Typewise became pretty clear.

Though I hit incorrect letters at times, the built-in auto-correction usually was able to decode what I was trying to type, which meant I didn’t have to think about it all that much.

I’m not sure if it really changed up my typing speed all that much—I’m already a fairly fast typist on my smartphone—but I definitely can see the benefits of using the hexagonal layout.

If that layout is a bit too much, you always can swap over to the standard keyboard layout and still enjoy the additional features that Typewise brings.

What’s My Function?

The real shining stars of Typewise, though, are the additional functions. Unlike traditional keyboards, which include caps buttons and the like, Typewise uses gestures to include capital letters and add in different punctuation.

This means swiping up on a letter will allow you to change its capitalization, and it just makes controlling where capital letters are much easier than having to hit a specific key to do it.

A person sending a message on a smartphone.

Malte Helmhold / Unsplash

There also are other great gesture-based functions, like the ability to hold and slide your finger across the keyboard to delete and undo deletions of words. If you find yourself reading through the messages you type before sending them, this can help edit words quickly and easily.

Another new feature with 3.0 is automatic language detection. During setup, you can install various language packs, and then the keyboard will pick up on which language you’re writing in.

It then changes over to that particular dictionary to ensure you aren’t messing up words in other languages. It worked well during my testing, and I easily swapped between English and Spanish phrases without much trouble.

The only real negative to Typewise is that many of the best features, like language detection, are locked behind a paywall. The free version still offers many great additions, but if you want the best experience, you’re going to need to shell out a little cash.

Was this page helpful?